It has been well-publicized that premiums for Obamacare insurance plans have been rising at a disturbing rate. Local news is filled with reports of 21.5%, 36.3%, and even higher price hikes. President Trump complained in February that Obamacare premiums “have increased by double and triple digits,” even remarking that premiums in Arizona “went up 116% last year alone.” If the cost of buying insurance was really rising this rapidly, we’d have a reason for bipartisan agreement that the Obamacare insurance experiment is a failure. But the rise in Obamacare premiums isn’t even close to the magnitude we are hearing about from reporters and politicians. And it is not because of fake news or dishonest discourse. It’s because everyone is looking at what’s for sale rather than what’s being sold.
Republicans in Congress failed to repeal Obamacare, but Republicans in Idaho are trying to do it themselves — law of the land be damned.
The state has rolled out the most audacious anti-Obamacare proposal yet, one that openly defies the fact that the Affordable Care Act is still in effect and in force. Idaho officials announced last month that they would allow insurance plans to be sold in the state that don’t comply with the health care law’s regulations. This means that plans can discriminate against people with preexisting medical conditions, by charging them higher premiums, and impose caps on the benefits their customers receive.
The ploy seems plainly illegal: Federal law, as amended by the ACA, flatly forbids health insurers from selling such plans. But Idaho is planning to permit them anyway — and it is not immediately clear who is going to stop it.
If conservatives don’t coalesce behind a new repeal plan soon soon, they will find themselves bystanders as their Republican colleagues link arms with Democrats.
ongressional Republicans were elected to repeal Obamacare. They may run this year as the politicians who saved it. Since late last year, GOP leaders have been planning to pump tens of billions of dollars’ worth of new federal spending into the veins of insurance companies that are hemorrhaging red ink on the Obamacare exchanges.